Tag: DrivenToExplore

Stay In Touch Anywhere Anytime

I’m not usually the type of person that likes to rely on devices for survival. The reason for that is simple, I’m a fighter, a man of nature, and I know that I only have myself to count on when confronted to a dangerous situation. Having been in the field of solo exploration for over 20 years, I have come to learn to sail across oceans, climb to the summit of mountains, and survive in the most extreme conditions without ever relying on a device to bring me back home to my family.

I first heard of the inReach when preparing for an expedition that would bring me by car from my home in Switzerland, across 13 countries, into Pakistan where I would then attempt to summit the mountain of my dreams: K2. The idea of remaining constantly connected via satellite for the rest of the world to follow my every footstep made me quite skeptical. I might be a modern day explorer, but when climbing a mountain, I tend to favour old school techniques (no oxygen, no ropes, no high altitude porters). The inReach however wouldn’t assist me to the top of a summit the way a rope or oxygen would, it would simply remain in arms reach if ever my climbing partners and I were to encounter a dangerous situation.

By automatically sending out my position every 10 minutes, the inReach faithfully and accurately tracked my progress. Directly connected to my Facebook page, my family, friends and followers would know when I was moving forward, backwards or remaining in the same position. At the end of every day, I would then use my inReach to send out my daily update. (For example: “Close to camp 3 at 6800m.”) Every message was accompanied by a link that showed my live GPS position as well as my previous ones on a satellite map. If an emergency ever did occur, all I had to do is press on the inReach’s SOS button and a long lasting and interactive signal would be sent out directly to a rescue team to come save me.

Although we never made it to the summit of K2, the inReach allowed me to share my story in real time in ways that I have never done in my history of solo exploration. The inReach is a life insurance. It is the tool that increases my chances of making it back home to my family if ever I do encounter danger along my journeys. It is a revolutionised way for an adventurer, mountaineer, or sailor to stay in touch with loved ones anywhere and at anytime, a real must-have for any outdoor enthusiast to ensure that one’s fears never overtake one’s dreams.

Mike Horn


Life at the Command of the G-Class

Thirty Hours. That’s the amount of time we’ve spent so far in the comfort of the fancy G-Class cars ever since our much-anticipated departure from Moscow on Monday. Given the long journey that awaited us stuck in the confinements of our mobile metallic boxes, some strategic team distribution was in order! Mike and camera crew in the Silver Fox (Grey car), and the girls at the command of the Black Bomb (Black car). With Jess as my most-trusted copilot and Masha, former Russian Young Explorer and current freelance journalist in the backseat, we’ve had more than enough time to share our entire life stories, to bore ourselves to sleep and to lose our voices from an overdose of singing.

If discrete was the type of trip we were aiming for, our imposing German tanks certainly weren’t helping us! We’ve been attracting more gazes than hot girls in bikinis, and while we’re on the subject, our rearview mirrors have been reflecting quite the opposite as Jess and I take occasional glimpses of our “current states”. Yet bagless eyes and shiny hair are the least of our worries as we live the thrill of such an exciting journey. As we cruise from petrol refill to caffeine refill, endless landscapes parade majestically before our attentive eyes. I wasn’t quite sure what to expect before embarking on this crazy adventure, but I must say, what we’ve witnessed so far has exceeded all my expectations. Next stop: Kazakhstan!

By: Annika Horn

Russian Generosity

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While cruising between Volgograd and Astrakhan, our last destination before crossing the Kazak border, my mind keeps reflecting back to our short yet rich experience crossing the Russian territories. There is something unique about this nation that makes it all the most intriguing. From the window of the G500, I had quite some time to observe the streets, the facilities, and the living conditions of the people of the Motherland. What I saw equaled my expectations; the streets are dirty, the infrastructure is underdeveloped, and government officials are unwelcoming. But on the rare breaks of our journey, we interacted with the locals and were greeted with overwhelming generosity and hospitality. It is then that I noticed the existence of a huge gap between the open mindedness of the people who welcomed us in their houses, shared their food, and told their stories and their country which seems stuck by the restrictions of their USSR days. Along the way, a doctor kindly escorted us in and out and around the beautiful city of Moscow as a result of the unavailability of Russian maps in our navigation system. We then continued Southward out of the city, stomachs filled with delicious food, after a couple invited us in their humble home and proudly made us explore locally grown products. Spasibo Russia! #DrivenToExplore

By: Jessica Horn


DIM_0253DIM_0396DIM_0851Expedition to K2. Driving from Switzerland to Pakistan

After three days of unrelenting driving, Mike and his team finally arrive in the capital of Russia, Moscow. Brimming with beautiful historical monuments, its unique urban architecture contrasts with the richness of its greenery. From his point of departure Château-d’Oex, Switzerland up until now, Mike and his crew have witnessed spectacular sceneries from the comfort of their two Mercedes-Benz G-Wagons. Despite a couple hours lost stuck in traffic, the team is advancing rapidly towards their final destination: Pakistan! “There’s a pleasant surprise to be found after every turn on the road. This road trip is a lot more of an adventure than I had expected. Our backsides might be numb, but our minds are blown away by the thrill of such a new and exciting journey!”

Adventurer Mike Horn and Team Begin Next Challenge and Drive from Switzerland to Pakistan to Climb and ski k2 unassisted

DIM_9671Mike and his daughters Annika and JessicaThe Ideal Cars for Rough TerrainMercedes-Benz G-Class

Mike Horn, and his fellow Alpine climbers: Fred Roux and Köbi Reichen of Switzerland departed Thursday 14th of May via automobile, a G-Class Mercedes Benz, for their second attempt to ascend K2, the second highest mountain in the world with a peak elevation of 8,611 meters/28,251 feet.

Mike Horn has achieved feats that no other man has accomplished from swimming the Amazon River solo and unsupported to an unmotorised circumnavigation of the globe at the equator, Mike’s list of accomplishments as a solo explorer is unparalleled. Climbing the second highest mountain on this planet is not nearly enough of an adventure for Mike so him and his team are driving from Switzerland to Pakistan to begin the journey.

Leaving from his home, Château-d’Oex, Swtizerland, they will drive through 10 different countries (Germany, Poland, Lithuania, Latvia, Russia, Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan, Tajikistan, Kyrgyzstan and China) to finally reach Skardu, Pakistan where Mike and his team will start their most challenging ascension yet. As of all the other climbs they have done together, this ascent will be done alpine style without high altitude porters or additional oxygen. In the hope of a triumphant ascent Mike and Fred will attempt a world first by skiing down the technical faces K2.

“Let’s just say it’s a challenging commute to work,” said adventurer, Mike Horn. “I normally don’t use motorised vehicles on my adventures, but in this case, the Mercedes-Benz G-Class will allow me to discover the remote lands that I have not yet had the opportunity to explore. I am looking forward to witnessing the drastic changes in scenery and to meet locals and hear their stories along my journey.”

The innovative features of the intricately designed G-Class is a compliment to Mike and his team in many ways.  The G-Class was created to conquer challenges on six continents and the 36-year evolution of the G-Class keeps elevating the pinnacle of refinement. From its advanced lighting to its classic upright shape, its purposeful elegance is both unmistakable and irrefutable. Every surface of the G-Class reflects its confident capability on any surface of the earth.

Follow Mike’s exciting journey live via tracking system, photos and film, all of which can be found on his website, Facebook @MikeHorn, Twitter @ExploreMikeHorn, and Instagram @MikeHornExplorer. #DrivenToExplore

Media Contact: [email protected]

Mike is in a constant state of travel and adventure , so keep up to date on all his expeditions !